NIGERIA: Yesterday’s bomb explosion in Jos, the capital of volatile Plateau State, has killed about 118 people and wounded over 45. The car bomb went off at a bus terminal in central Jos, a predominantly Christian area that’s long seen similar, targeted violence. Today, Deborah Peter, a Nigerian of Chibok, the same town from where Boko Haram abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls, appeared on Capitol Hill. WORLD covered Peter’s story last year, as well as the longer standing violence of Boko Haram. I’m glad to see it make Page One news these days, finally.
MALAWI: President Joyce Banda faced stiff challenges from a field of 12 candidates in elections on Tuesday, and results are not in yet. Multiparty democracy came to Malawi in 1994. Corruption scandals involving other politicians have tainted Banda, considered a reformist leader.
“When you try to bring a regime down, and you fail as gloriously as we have, that regime will naturally come after you and try to decimate you. In that context, the Sisi presidency is planned to be the final nail in our coffin, and I say bring it.”
ISRAEL: Pope Francis begins a Holy Land pilgrimage on Saturday. Jewish groups fear Israel will cede the site of the Last Supper to the Vatican. Catholic officials say they aren’t seeking title to the Upper Room, just two hours set aside for prayer every day. When I visited the site in 2010, Russian Orthodox, Catholics, American evangelicals, and others were all gathered in groups there. Christian sites are increasingly under attack by ultra-Orthodox groups. Pope Francis has pledged he and other Catholic leaders “will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians.” Pew Research Center has a rundown on population trends and religion in the region.
UNITED KINGDOM: That Google logo today? It’s Mary Anning, the British fossil collector, who was born this day 215 years ago. She made some amazing discoveries in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis in Dorset, and Tracy Chevalier novelized her work delightfully in Remarkable Creatures.